Monday, August 29, 2016

First Grade

This is what I wrote this time last year. 

Today is the same and different.  The same in that I'm going to miss him during the day.  We've been together almost 24/7 the past month.  Towards the end of summer it was a little iffy, maybe we were both a little bored.  Different in that he and I have kindergarten under our belts, we've got this school routine down already.  Thankfully he's still excited about going to school. Although he's not clear on why there are different kids in his class this year.  That's a hard one to explain.  

This year he has a Korean woman for his teacher.  I know it's supposed to make a big difference in kids' lives that they have role models and teachers and such that look like they do.  We don't really know how much it matters to Noah.  There's so much diversity in our world already.  She's very positive and optimistic about getting all the kids reading this year.  We'll see how our boy does. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day - This is being a Mother

The past 24 hours are what parenting is about. Changed plans where we end up at an airshow which Noah loves. Soccer games cancelled both Saturday and Sunday. Three hours after we get home from the airshow Noah tells us his ear hurts. Uh oh. Give him tylenol and hope he can sleep until morning when we can take him to a clinic. Wake up at 11:30 pm to him saying it really hurts. Poor baby, this is the first time he's complained of pain.

Off to the ER we go. Where he immediately pukes up the antibiotics and motrin as we're about to head home. My stomach growling because I went to bed hungry thinking I'd wake up and eat a decent breakfast. So, off to the all night pharmacy, which informs me their computers are processing the day's batch and so it's $50 for the antibiotics until I can make a second trip to have it re-processed. Many cuss words. Back to sleep about 2:30

Plans, new plans, changed plans this morning. Fun. (or not) Evil neighbor kid ends up in the house (with Noah and our friends' kids) and dumps 1/3 of a container of fish food into the fish tank. More cuss words. Figuring out how to clean out the fish tank while expelling the evil child and entertaining the good ones. Then Noah pulls out his current loose tooth. At least this one we have for the tooth fairy.

Off to see if the haircut place for Noah is open. Nope. (I kinda figured.) The pet food store to get the cats food. The grocery store for a few things.

Time to finally fire up the grill.

Why in the world don't I drink??

But, this is being a mother. And it's still the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Noah has the potential to make a great lawyer one day.  He is an expert at finding and exploiting loopholes.  (I joke with Ching that the osmosis between Noah and I is strong...  the red highlights in his hair, and now loopholes.  It's from all the nights he and I played while she was pregnant and sleeping.)

Noah has "self control" issues in school - you know, because he's a five year old boy.  The first month of school, when they did what's called walking feet after lunch, where they walk around the circular drive in front of the school, he tended to run.  We talked with him, and that problem got better. 

I think it was at the parent/teacher conference we found out Noah has a tendency to drop things on the floor, then get out of his chair and crawl around to get them.  And he still likes to throw things - like the dice when they're doing a math game.  Sigh. 

So, I gave Noah three rules.  Stay in your chair, keep your hand to yourself, and don't throw anything. 

And that mostly worked. 

Until yesterday, when after school his teacher told me he had spit on the floor and licked a kid.  (Ok, he licked her shirt, which is Ching's fault because they have this weird lick each other thing that he and I don't do!)

I asked him why he was spitting.  It's something he's done a few times here at home, but not often.  And he mentioned something about getting up to clean it up.

Ah-ha.  It seems he found a new way to get out of his seat.  Heh. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Kindergarten Update

We got Noah's six week report yesterday.  It was the general one from his teacher, and then an update on his IEP goals.  The overall picture is that Noah is really, really distracted by all the goings on in the classroom.  We're not really surprised by any of it.  But it's hard not to worry a little bit about our boy.  Thankfully, we've had two years of pre-school and we know his strengths and weaknesses.

Every day he tells us he had fun at school.  He likes the other kids, and they seem to like him.  He's good at the routine of school.  We just didn't know how he was doing on actual school work.  The worksheets he brings home are fine.  And when he and I do his little bit of homework he does fine.  The biggest problem is he just can't pay attention in class to save his life.

We knew that this was going to be a problem.  It's a big change from 12 kids and 3 teachers to 22 kids and 2 teachers.  There's just so much going on in the classroom.  And he's a kid who from just about the day he was born loves to watch what everyone in the world is doing - literally.  If he were older, he'd probably be one of those kids staring out the window all day, and then having to do all of his school work once he got home.  In Kindergarten, it's a little bit more of a problem that he can't pay attention. 

One of the things we've learned about Noah is that he learns almost everything by watching videos - his alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, everything.  Thankfully, there are some good educational websites where he can learn letter sounds and all the other things they're working on.  We showed him one of them yesterday and he spent a good amount of time on there and enjoyed it.

We have to keep coming back to our goals for Noah and school - that he enjoys being there.  We can't change what they have to learn in kindergarten these days, but we don't have to get caught up in it all.  That can be hard.  To not compare where he is to where all the other kids are.  He's just not a typical student, and we may never know why.

To us, the most important thing is that he's a happy and sweet boy who loves to go to school, loves music, and loves to play outside with his friends.  At five, not much else really matters. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Job Change

As the time for Ching to be home from work nears, Noah and I are closing out an great week in a very long summer of the first five years of his life and the end of my dream job - being a stay-at-home mom.  I feel like I'll be more of a house wife than SAHM, but it's really just semantics. (Twenty years ago, I would state that my goal was to be a kept woman... being a SAHM is not quite the same thing, heh.)

I've had a hard time this week wondering if I've done a good job.  How much more could I have done?  What should I have done differently?  You know...  The result of my work is who Noah is.  And although I can't take all the credit, I tend to take quite a bit.  He's happy.  He's polite.   He's just a good kid overall.  What more could I ask for?

No, this isn't the end of parenting.  But it is the end of this specific phase of life.

We also did the week right.  We went to Kids N Motion, Chuck E Cheese, the playground, and the water park.  We ate lots of chicken nuggets and french fries and drank lemonade.  We watched the Lego Movie a time or two a day.  All before Ma got home every evening.

I've told him I'm going to miss him while he's at school.  He doesn't know what I mean, really.  But I trust he feels it. 

Kindergarten and "Good" Schools

Noah's school had open house last night, so we got to go see the school, his classroom, and meet his teacher and classmates.  He is so, so excited and ready for school to start.  We were there from 3:30 to 5:30 (part of the time we were in the library hearing from the principal and he was back in the classroom with the kids) and he didn't want to leave when it was time to go home.  His teacher seems really nice and ready to handle a lot of kindergarteners. 

I've written over the years how I feel about public schools and such.  And I wrote about how much we loved and appreciated Noah's teachers and school last year.  As the start of school has gotten closer these past couple of weeks, and back to school is the most common topic on FB and even sometimes for Ching at work, the idea of "good" schools is something Ching and I talk about. 

I'm sure the reality of Noah being a special ed boy - even to the small degree that he is - helps shape my thoughts.  As does the fact that he loves kids and school so much. 

So our goal for Noah this school year is very simple - that he continues to love going to school and enjoying it and that he makes friends.  Will he learn how to write better, and how to read, and things like that.  Of course.  Is that important, sure.  It's just not our biggest concern. 

When we bought our house we, we bought the nicest, least expensive house we thought we could afford.  That means we live in the blue collar, working class part of the huge DC metro (as opposed to the "thinking" class that dominates this area).  Our house cost 1/3 or 1/4 of what most of Ching's co-workers cost.  We thought we'd live in it for three or four years and then finally be moving out of the DC area all together.  Nope.  We also didn't care about schools and such because we didn't know we'd be having Noah. 

We like our house, we don't absolutely love it, but we're doing the improvements that make us happy.  I love that we're in a cul de sac and that there are two or three neighbor kids for Noah to play with sometimes.  I love the trees and the quiet.  And I appreciate the working class nature of our neighbors. 

But...  that all important question... how are the schools?  I don't know.  We could talk about class size, socioeconomic status, ethnic make-up, things like that.  Would Noah's school rate very well, probably not.  And yet every school personnel there last night was helpful and friendly and seemed to truly be happy to be there.  I know there are fantastic schools where that's not always true.  Maybe the teachers in Noah's not top of the line school know they have to work a little harder for their students. 

I don't know.  We're taking this school thing one year at a time. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015


For most of the summer he wakes up between 7:30 and 8:30 and plays in his bed for a while.  This means I got to sleep in until 8:30!  Then we sort of hung out, I made coffee and he had apple juice.  We'd eat some sort of breakfasts, toast for me, granola or gold fish for him.  He'd watch lego videos on while I caught up on FB and news.  Very leisurely.
Just a few of those days left this summer. 

Noah has had to be at day camp at 9 am this week (and then will do another one week after next).  It's been good to get a feel for how our mornings will go when school starts.

First, I fully intend to get Noah an alarm clock as soon as possible.  Ok, that's still a couple of years away, but still... 

Now, when I go in to get him up, he's a little but awake, but still sleepy.  (We're working on earlier bedtimes as well!)  Then he decides it's time to go brush his teeth.  I talk him into peeing.  Then have to talk him into getting dressed.  We do some juice and snacks.  He's a slow eater, so this all takes 35-40 minutes.  This does not include time for me to make coffee or shower.  I have a feeling there will be a majority of mornings I don't shower before taking him to school.  Oh well.  I'm learning to live with that. 

I'm just glad he's happy when he wakes up, and his slightly ocd self will get the hang of a morning routine pretty easily, I think.